By: Hunter Smither
What is the Constitutional Convention?
Before any sort of meeting/convention was called to amend the Articles of Confederation, a rebellion occurred with it the leader named Daniel Shay, a former American Revolutionary officer, lead 2,500 farmers against Massachusetts, as several states were taking land from farmers without their consent and using it to pay back debts.
On September 1786, states were called to a federal meeting.
The Articles of Confederation (a.o.c) was a ruling of government and could not be the only federal form.
- The A.O.C allowed all the states to produce their own forms of currency with their own value
- With that in mind, the Federal Government could not intervene in trade along with having no way to gain or use money.
Through all of this, the outcome was that the convention had came up with the Constitution of the United States of America, with it James Madison was looked/known as the Father of the Constitution, he played a massive part in its creation.
The Starting Plans
The Virginia Plan
Called for the number of votes for each state to be based on population, bigger states could have more power within voting.
Based off of the French Philosopher Baron Montesquieu, a system of checks and balances was established as the new American Government was going to be split into three branches.
- Executive, head of government, contains the President
- Judicial, justice branch, Law enforcement, Judges, etc.
- Legislative, law making/decision making, will be a Bicameral (two houses); they would contain the House of Representatives, would have 3-year terms elected by people, on the other note, the Senate would be the other house, 7-year terms by state legislatives.
- Without this we would only have the 13 colonies as the only states. Bye bye everyone else.
The Virginia Plan Supporters
He also was the man who presented this Plan in the year 1787 during the convention.
The New Jersey Plan
Called for one vote for each state, no matter the size or population
Wanted to organize a stronger central government split into three branches of various ideals.
- Executive- President, head of government; usually forming the final say
- Judicial- Judges, law enforcement, etc. Would charge and keep the peace among people and let justice prevail
- Legislative- Law making, and decision debate branch, same as Virginia Plan; except ONE house which membership/voting would one be equal for all states.
This plan also gave Congress the power to Tax along with the additional power to regulate interstate trading.
The main statements of the New Jersey Plan was:
- Keep and amend the Articles of Confederation.
- Article of Confederation and laws made by the central government to be the law of the land, unable to be removed, but allowed to be amended.
Ultimately the plan was removed from the discussion, but several ideals were taken into consideration. Which became known as the Great Compromise also known as the Connecticut Compromise.
The New Jersey Plan Supporters
The Great Compromise & Convention Issues
ISSUESThe Constitutional Convention wasn't all butterflies and happy thoughts, roughly forty men from thirteen states were in a locked courthouse for hours upon hours everyday for about six months.
Also on the note, tensions were high between the bigger states and smaller states, as representation was a concerning issue for the smaller states who had less population than the larger states.
Combined the Virginia Plan and New Jersey Plan's ideals of the Legislative branch, forming a two house legislature.
- The bottom house being based on population with officials being elected by the people. Votes based on population, with this in mind the majority vote on a issue is reflected by members in the upper house who represent the same ideals as the lower house and the people.
- The top house had two representatives which would go to Senate, a.k.a Senators, for each state no matter the size. These members were elected by the bottom house. The top house gain two votes.